In the mid-1260s in Paris, a dispute raged that concerned the relationship between faith and the Augustinian theological tradition on the one side and secular leaning as represented by the arrival in Latin of Aristotle and various Islamic and Jewish interpreters of Aristotle on the other. Masters of the arts faculty in Paris represented the latter tradition, indicated by the phrase "double truth theory." The introduction places the work historically and sketches the controversy to which it was a contribution. Part 2 includes the Latin Leonine text and McInerny's translation. Part 3 analyzes the basic arguments of Thomas's work and provides a series of interpretive essays meant to make Thomas accessible to today's readers.
Augustine's Love of Wisdom is an analytical and interpretive focus on the first thirty chapters of book ten of Augustine's Autobiographical Confessions. Bourke provides a rich synthesis of key tenets of Augustine's psychology in the context of his philosophical system and selects the most intensive writing of Augustine on the intricacies of the human psyche, providing the reader with insight on an Augustinian explanatory method, introspection. The first part of Augustine's Love of Wisdom establishes the context of Augustine's writings with a biographical sketch of Augustine from his early life and career and an exploration of his background and methodology. Part 2 provides the reader with the original Latin and an English translation of the first thirty chapters of book ten of the Confessions. Part 3 is Bourke's analysis and commentary of these chapters.
Soren Kierkegaard (1818-55) is perhaps best known for his existentialism, and his critique of the Western metaphysical tradition makes him a religiously committed postmodernist. Becoming a Self provides a reader's guide to the book often taken to be Kierkegaard's most important contribution to philosophy and theology. Merold Westphal includes the portion of Kierkegaard's text that develops his infamous thesis that "truth is subjectivity," and offers a dose reading of the entire text of Postscript. In addition, he locates the text in the larger authorship of Kierkegaard, with special attention to the theory of stages or existence spheres; in the debate with Hegel, which is one of its most distinctive features; and in the conversations that make up contemporary postmodern philosophy. While postmodernism is usually thought to be inherently secular, Kierkegaard's pseudonym, Johannes Climacus, shows us what a variety of postmodern insights might took like if appropriated by religious thought. He tries to show that the demise of classical paradigms of selfhood do not require the abandonment of subjectivity and inwardness altogether, and that a decentered self can still be a responsible self This volume continues Westphal's attempt to show that the "individualism" and "irrationalism" that have for so long been associated with Kierkegaard's thought are not the abandonment of community and thoughtfulness but powerful protests against major pathologies of complacent modernity. In this light, Kierkegaard's thought can be seen as a non-Marxist form of ideology critique.
Confessions of a Rational Mystic exposes both aspects of this transitional thinker through a multidimensional interpretation of his Pioslogion. It treats Anselm's famous proof for the existence of God as both a rational argument and an exercise in mystical theology, analyzing the logic of its reasoning while providing a phenomenological account of the vision of God that is embedded within it. Through a deconstructive reading of the cycle of prayer and proof that forms the overall structure of the text, not only is the argument returned to its place in the Proslogion as a whole, but the historic relationship that it attempts to establish between faith and reason is examined. In this way, the critical role that Anselm played in the history of philosophy is seen in a new light.
Long recognized as one of the greatest medieval philosophical theologians, John Duns Scotus made his most innovative theoretical contributions in the area of metaphysics. A careful and detailed study of his argument for the existence of God and the theory of knowledge that makes this possible provides the most direct access to his basic ideas. Unlike the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas or Anselm's famous Proslogion argument, Scotus's proof is of another order of complexity and amounts to a little "summa" of his metaphysics. Among those theologians to accept Aristotle's scientific theory, Scotus is perhaps the first to realize fully its negative consequences if the philosophical doctrines of divine illumination and the analogical concept of being interact. His treatment of the God-question is distinguished for its deliberatively holistic approach to what was conventionally a series of unrelated topics.